LTC Leaderboard

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Talking to the Devil

Okay, so this was one of the darkest times in my life, and my life is made of bits of darkness.
1st of April 2011
Dear Cassi,

It comes to me that I’m telling you the events of January and here it has become April as if I let time get away from me, and here I stand trying to catch up with it. Much like the detritus in my life I’ve got garbage running round in my head.
One of the most important events of this year was your ex-husband calling me. It’s a point impossible to ignore in my life because it’s so telling. By the texts on my cell phone I can tell that it was on the 12th of January that he called some time after eight in the evening. It was a dark time for me. I was at this moment fighting to get a post I could work from Allied, a fight I knew to be futile, and the bleakness of my life had risen around me like walls. Soon those walls would fall and consume me, but that is not the subject of today.
I remember looking at my cell phone and seeing a number I didn’t recognize. I answered and I could recognize your ex-husband by his voice.
“Rick? I’m sorry. Richard” he said and the fact that he had used my real name stunned me. His abuse of my name had been at the center of his lies. He had constructed a falls person, this “Rick” and Rick had been a man I didn’t recognize.
“Do you have a minute?” he asked and this through me even further off my guard. “You stopped talking to me, and if I couldn’t talk to you-“

As if I hadn’t told him my feelings on his behavior a thousand times. Our friend ship had degenerated into nothing but arguments.
“I told you to call and leave a message” I said getting cut off.
“I called you three times and I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I told you my grandmother had died,” he said, and what a statement. He didn’t know something was wrong when his closest friend didn’t speak to him for three weeks. His text about his Grandmother’s death had implied that he would be in further contact. The fact that he had not contacted me after this led me to believe that he used her death as a way to get at me.
“Then Mr. Hill told me that it was about me calling you Rick and I know I did that a lot, but I knew it was more than that. Isn’t there something I could do to make it up to you?”

“It” He was refusing to say what he had done in the hope that I had failed to understand the scope of his deceptions. I told him “Nothing comes to mind.”

“I want you to be happy. It’s not my fault,” he said repeating a lie I heard before, “I’m impulsive. I didn’t have a plan.” So now I know he had a plan. Why would he deny without accusation? All this time he had thought that I would come round, but there was no hope of that. How could I have forgiven his transgressions? What could he do now that I couldn’t lay trust on him even in the smallest degree?

“My life was hellish with you in it,” I said only saying what I was thinking. I expected nothing as reply to this.

“I didn’t want your life to be hellish.”

“Yes, you did,” I growled.

“I’m going to go now,” he said putting on an act hoping for sympathy. “If you change your mind you have my number.” Little does he know that I deleted the contact.

That was a door that closed some time ago and it feels as if it was a lifetime away. This conversation was no more than a fragment of a ghost caught in the night mist.

It would appear that I broke the one page limit some time ago. It couldn’t be helped. As I look over my words I find that there are things missing but it is now too much to recall it all.

What will become of things?

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, September 10, 2012

Something for We

17th April 2012
Dear Cassi,

Yesterday I took my first of four assertion classes. I see little use in these classes as they do nothing for my social situations, but as they double as an assignment for grad school I may as well finish this program then move on to another.
The overall idea of this class is that appropriate human behavior exists as moderation between two extremes. That is to say that the assertive person is midway between a passive and an aggressive person. This is to say that a passive person accepts whatever happened and an aggressive person meets with resistance. This assumes that you are dealing with reasonable people and that simply has never been my situation.
The first major point from this class on Monday was that a person should do something for themselves every day. As if we all have the time for that, honestly, something for yourself often is more appropriate. For those who do have time cooking, watching TV, playing video games, going to the Gym are all acceptable options. As for me, I play with the dog, write, and draw comics.
Point two of the Monday session was what do you do that you do so well. For me this was cooking and my work at the homeless shelter. I’d say that I do both of these things very well. Both of these things are point of pride for me.
So, Cassi, what do you do well, and what do you do for yourself? I imagine you haven’t much time for yourself, but in this life we often must make do.

Stay safe, little sister

Richard Leland Neal

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I, Techno

16th April 2012
Dear Cassi,

As the memory of my Cyborg stories sparked in my mind a question came to me: what is a Cyborg? The short answer is a life form enchased with technology to function better than its natural design. Under this definition all humans are Cyborgs. You see we use language and that is technology. Moreover, pens and written, rods, or anything not holy provided by nature would make a life form a Cyborg.
That includes the roads we drive on and the tools we build. Society is Cybernetic. The bird and the ants are to natural Cyborgs.
This is not the definition I thought of when I wrote about them. I further read that there is the idea of feedback. Only a device with direct feedback to the nervous system would define something as a Cyborg so some thinkers on the word. Now I’m just confused.
This thinking gave life to the idea of the Lobster Type Cyborg which is a suit or set of armor that one can put on. This linking directly with the mined would create a very effective working system with a human at control.
However, the Cyborgs of the story were as cursed by their condition as they were helped. They could not simply takeoff their augmentations. Thus the creatures I speak of are life forms repaired by technology.
I guess what I mean when I say Cyborg and the definition for the story I told you about will be a living being permanently augmented with technology as artificial parts directly connected to the Nervous system.

Stay real, little sister

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Funny Old Car

15Th April 2012
Dear Cassi,

One of the funny things that comes to mind when I think of days gone past is the old silver car that Alan had when he would come over for his visitation rights. I have no recollection of the make. I remember that it had a burgundy interior and that the radio had been replaced not because Alan wanted one but because the lat owner thought it kept the resale up.
I think the radio was always silent when we were in the car. It may not have worked. I knew it had been replaced because holes had been roughly punched to fit the knobs into the dashboard. When you first looked at it you thought the damage near the radio was from old age but after a few thoughts you knew it was intentional.
One of the odd points of this car was that he kept a white candle in the back. It was a wagon and the candle was there to be seen looking rather phallic after melting a bit in the sun. I have no recollection of anything to light the candle. Thus if it was meant to be light on a dim roadway I think it would have failed.
I recall sitting in back as we drove down the roadway and watching the glass of the windows dance. I told the old man that he needed new shocks, how I knew what shocks were at six I do not know, and him saying “it had new shocks.” Then he would look at me with this smile that dripped of some evil I never identified and say, “when it was new.”
Still, the prize of this by far was his air conditioning which was a joke to all but him. He would take a gallon jug and fill it at the hose then pour it over the car. This was too little to do any good, but the idea is sound.
Over my lifetime I have always thought of the fairytale lies as being nice bits that we are not meant to believe. This would include the Easter Bunny, the Tooth fairy, and the old man’s air conditioning.

Let the truth keep you strong, little sister

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, September 3, 2012

Washing and Waiting

14th April 2012
Dear Cassi,

As you know, my health has always been a problem. This stems most from my depression but is not the only cause. There is one occasion that I recall; it is nothing but an odd story, from gym class in middle school. The class was running and to keep pace the gym teacher was running at the end of the group where I was because of my poor health.
I will call this fellow Smacky as he was found doing just that in his office by some other boys. In any case, Smacky was having trouble running just as I was that day. His knee locked up and like a fool he kept trying to run.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years about exercise it’s ‘listen to your body’. Pain is not a good thing and when a bit of you stops doing as it’s told keeping on with things will lead to injury. Smacky just kept running. He set a bad example and now that I think of it I’ve followed that example more than once.
Then Smacky, true to his name, was one to walk about with a stain in the front of his pants. He was a shriveled up gross old man. Pickles once told me that back in his time at the school Smacky would stand and watch the boys shower with far too much interest. 
I’m glad I never had to go through that, but in hind sight I would have sent a letter to the school board. I never heard stories of him molesting the boys, but there are some things you just need to be sure on.

Stay honest, little sister

Richard Leland Neal

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Put Clothes On

13th April 2012

Dear Cassi,

Today I commit to memory George Washington’s seventh rule of civility and decent behavior: “Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.”
Let us first understand that this was a different time. In being so it was a time of vermin and illness. In this time the body was often an ugly thing covered in scars and dirt. To see a man’s chest would be to see his fleas and oozing wounds. In this degree the body was a thing not to be seen.
Further on that thinking was the commonality of sexual repression. I believe that it was not until the time of the World Wars that a woman in pants was socially acceptable. Even at the time I think this was not common.
I would have to say that this rule today would mean more along the line of ‘dress appropriate for the situation’. It would be silly for a man to put on a shirt at the beach and I do imagine that a bikini would be half dressed for Washington’s time.
Modesty of the body has left us for the most part but there are still limits to what we should and should not show the world.

Live in the moment, little sister,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I, Cyborg

12th April 2012

Dear Cassi,

I think you may recall Turtle Nose speaking of a story I worked on back in middle school that stayed with me to mid high school. I have but fragments of its evolution in my mind now and so little was ever written down with all the obstacles in my way. Many were the nights … or days … or evenings maybe, I can no longer give account of such things, that I would sit imprisoned in my mind unable to sleep but too weak to move.
My wandering thoughts would spin yarns for me in that hell that gave me what play I could have at eleven. The darkness of my life was lit only by my stories as the spark of light I had to cling to in keeping my sanity. I called my hero Claw as hands had then been useless to me. Those people from where Claw came I called Clordonians. They were a race of Cyborgs things made of machine and flesh.
So, from where did the Clordonians come? The face I took from the Terminator and the body was that of a toy soldier that lost a hand. The ship I saw them fight across space with was a toy gun that came with the soldier.
In my head and with bits a bobbles I constructed a thing I would dream to become because of my depression. The Clordonian was a being that had suffered terrible wounds and could still live. Wounds like those on my heart from my mother’s death. The beings arms could move by servos and by flesh and so it could feel no pain or fatigue.
These things of my imagination were the engineers of a world where my pain would end. They were the saviors from my privet hell, the guardian angels I wished I had. They were the grim smile that kept me alive in this world.

Find your smile, little sister; it only needs to shine for you,

Richard Leland Neal